18 December 2011

When Christmas is summertime


Our Christmas wreath at home- made from
a misprinted book and a scrap of red fabric
It's Christmastime, which in Tonga, means it's very, very hot. Anything of value happens very early in the morning, very late at night, or in blasting air-conditioning. Most offices do have air con, including mine, which makes moving in or out of the building somewhat like stepping into a totally different climate as I'm hit with a wall of humid hot air or a blast of arctic chill in the doorway.

Christmas in Tonga is also blissfully lacking in the commercialization that bombards residents in the US and many other countries, and while I would love to see the streets and shops decorated for Christmas, it's also nice to have less commercial pressure. Instead in Tonga, as one would expect, we have feasts. This year we'll miss the three-day Catholic feast we're invited to because we'll be visiting family and friends in the US for the first time in over two years, but we did get to celebrate a Christmas opening of the new Fua'amotu church with friends yesterday.

07 December 2011

How thin is a thin client?

Elena's new office
Monday was a Tongan public holiday in celebration of the birthday of the first king of Tonga, Tupou I, so most of Tonga went to the beach or took some other form of relaxation. Elena did not get day because the New Zealand High Commission works through most local holidays, but it was still a relaxingly slow day for her after two weeks of breakneck job training. For me, it was a welcome respite from the busy last two weeks spent preparing documents for my visa and preparing for my close of service with Peace Corps. So what’s left to do in order to properly wrap up my work with the Free Wesleyan Church schools? In a nutshell, I have to make sure that I’m no longer a necessary element in both helping the schools adopt new computer systems, and providing procurement, maintenance, and repair support from Tupou Tertiary Institute.

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